The Whale That Fell in Love with a Submarine by Akiyuki Nosaka, Mika Provata-Carlone


The Whale That Fell in Love with a Submarine by Akiyuki Nosaka, Mika Provata-Carlone

Striking and eloquent stories that tell of the absurd violence of war, and tenderly depict the animals and children caught in its vortex A whale falls in love with a military submarine, and dies courting her; a mother caught in a fire following a bombing gives all her body's water to save her son, and her desiccated form turns into a kite; a wolf rescues a sick child abandoned by her parents, only to die himself at the hand of men. However, bunkers can also become real homes, a small Japanese girl and an American POW briefly understand each other and a miraculous tree feeds starving children...This is war, no doubt, but told by someone who understands how children truly experience war and its aftermath - the bombings and parents' deaths, the life of orphans who roam the streets, the starvation and blind violence in a society beyond destruction. Akiyuki Nosaka remembers what it was like to be a child caught in war-torn Japan in 1945, and he retells his experiences in this collection of powerful and beautifully expressive stories for children. Akiyuki Nosaka's adoptive parents were killed in the Allied firebombing of Kobe, Japan in 1945, and at age fourteen he fled with his younger sister to an evacuation camp, where she starved to death. This experience led him to write the award-winning Grave of the Fireflies, later made into an internationally acclaimed animated film, as well as The Whale That Fell in Love with a Submarine. Nosaka is well known in Japan as an essayist, lyricist, singer, politician and TV presenter. He has written nearly one hundred works of fiction and non-fiction, and continues to write columns for newspapers and magazines to this day.


One can only be shaken by these cruel and magnificent tales, which are also the most eloquent plea for peace imaginable L'Express Remarkable stories... They are dark but so beautiful, so profound; subtle and elegant. It is a book that will last all your life Irish Times A pleasure to hold and look at as well as to read... Moving snapshot of moments in the life of a shattered nation... These are unforgettable stories in a book to be treasured Children's Books Ireland

About the Author

Akiyuki Nosaka lost his mother at birth and was immediately entrusted into care by his father - a fact which he discovered only when his adoptive parents were killed in the American bombing of Kobe. At the age of fourteen, orphaned and alone in war-ravaged Japan, he saw his younger sister starve to death. He was sent to prison for stealing and involvement in the black market, but, after the reappearance of his biological father, managed to go to university. However, he soon dropped out and made a living doing odd jobs, including dog-washing and selling his own blood. He went on to become a lyricist, screenwriter, journalist, singer, novelist, fashion model and rugby club manager. He even joined the High Chamber of the Japanese Diet in 1983. The Pornographers, Nosaka's first novella, was published in 1963 and gained the admiration of Yukio Mishima. Graves of the Fireflies and Seaweeds of America - both largely autobiographical - were awarded the Naoki Literary prize in 1967. Nosaka has written nearly 100 books, both fiction and non-fiction; his work is violent, both tragic and comical. War Stories for Children and Graves of the Fireflies were both inspired by his own childhood, and very movingly depict the effect of war on Japanese - and any - society. Nosaka is extremely well known in Japan today, not just as a writer, but also as a TV personality, scriptwriter, songwriter, comedian, singer and even politician. He suffered a stroke in 2003 but still writes for newspapers and radio.

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Book Info


112 pages


Akiyuki Nosaka, Mika Provata-Carlone
More books by Akiyuki Nosaka, Mika Provata-Carlone


Publication date

12th February 2015



Publisher Profile

Pushkin Children's Books is an imprint of Pushkin Children's Books


Pushkin Children's Books was launched in 2013 to share tales from different languages and cultures with younger readers, and to open the door to the wide, colourful worlds these stories offer. From picture books and adventure stories to fairy tales and classics, and from fifty-year-old bestsellers to current huge successes abroad, the books on the Pushkin Childrens list reflect the very best stories from around the world, for our most discerning readers of all: children. Twitter @PushkinPress

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